ISTANBUL, TURKEY - 2009/04/30: Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya), The Church of Holy Wisdom, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya), The Church of Holy Wisdom in Sultanahmet.. (Photo by Jeremy Horner/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Sergey Gavrilov, MP for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation  announced in the Duma that:

“We expect from the Turkish side a friendly step – to return the Hagia Sophia Cathedral to the Christian church. The Russian side is ready to participate materially, and also to engage the best Russian restorers and scientists to the restoration of the ecumenical Christian monument. This step would help Turkey and Islam to demonstrate that the good will is above politics.”

It remains to be seen how the rest of the Duma or the Turkish political apparatus will respond to this.

Hagia Sofia was built in the sixth century during the Byzantine Empire era. It served as a cathedral for 916 years until the Ottoman invasion and Sultan Mehmet converted it into a mosque. Since 1935, it has served as a museum.

The idea for the re-conversion of Hagia Sofia into a mosque has been growing momentum with several prominent Turkish Islamic leaders calling for this.


P. Antonopoulos is currently a Candidate for an MA Degree, writing his dissertation on the Saudi-Iranian Geopolitical Rivalry in the Syrian War.

You can follow him on twitter: https://twitter.com/oulosP

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